Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2011

Smartboys Club Blog Fest

I'm excited to be taking part in my first Blog Fest! Here's the details!



I'm excited to announced the first ever Smartboys Club Blog Fest to celebrate the release of Bees in My Butt in paperback. Everyone who participates will get the first 4 Smartboys Club books for free as ebooks and a coupon code to buy the paperback Bees in My Butt for only $3 instead of the list price of $6.99. In addition, for every hundred people that join us in the blog fest we'll have a drawing to give away a Kindle.
For details on how to participate, visit the Wonder Realms Books website. I look forward to seeing you there.

Purchase Bees in My Butt Take Monkey, a literary genius with flatulence; Bean, a science and math guru; Vinny, a computer whiz who can't keep her mouth shut; and Art, an artist who can shoot a basketball like a pro, confront them with a mess of fourth grade trouble, and watch the fun explode.
In Bees in My Butt, the first book of the Smartboys Club series, the members of t…

13 Little Blue Envelopes

This was one of those books that I saw on someone else's blog. It looked like a fun book, so I decided to read it too! Ginny is a seventeen year-old, who lives a pretty normal life. Her favorite aunt always was a little bit crazy, she decorated her apartment with garbage. One day she decided to just up and move to Europe, and then she died. One day, Ginny receives a letter in a blue envelope and a backpack from her aunt with some instructions. The first thing she's supposed to do is fill her backpack with things she thinks she's going to need, but she's not allowed to take anything electronic. No cell phone, computer, camera, nothing. She's also not supposed to take any money or credit cards or any guidebooks or language books. Then she's supposed to use some money that was in the envelope to buy a passport and a ticket to London. She's supposed to pack up and leave her parents, her school, and her life for who knows how long, and not knowing a soul just sh…

The Lost Saint

I have been waiting to read this book for months! I really enjoyed The Dark Divine when I read that book last year or maybe longer ago, I can't remember anymore! I love the cover of this book, so fun. The book is about Grace Divine, she's a normal high school girl, who happens to be a preacher's daughter. Well, she used to be normal, then she was bitten by her werewolf brother even as she cured her boyfriend of being a werewolf. Now she has a scar, and super powers that come and go as they please. She and her boyfriend, Daniel, are trying to train so that she is able to have her powers turn on and off when she needs them to not just when they want to. Her family life's messed up, her brother, Jude, ran away after he bit her and things haven't been the same since. Her dad's off searching for Jude and her mom is either not functioning at all, or in "Mama Bear Mode" where everything Grace does is wrong for some reason or other. Then it appears that Jude …

The Twilight Companion

I love the Twilight books, so I picked this up when we went to Powells in Portland in September. I started reading it not very long after we got back, the other day I decided that I'm never going to finish reading it so here it is. I'm either going to sell it to one of those places that takes used books, or give it away. It still has the price tag on it and everything. This is kind of a strange book, it does say right on the cover that it's an unofficial guide. I'm hoping that the official guide that comes out in a few weeks is better! This has strange chapters with titles like "I beg you, Please suck my blood." It talks about things like how many calories you would lose if Edward sucked your blood. There's also a vampire quiz and a chapter on how to tell if you've met a good vampire or a bad one. I didn't really get this book, if I had, I probably would have finished it.

An Engagement in Seattle

I've liked a few of Debbie Macomber books, like the Call Me Mrs Miracle books, so I thought I would try reading this book. It's actually two books in one, a couple of her stories that she wrote several years ago. The first one is called Groom Wanted. It's about Julia, she's an over 30, attractive woman, but she's been hurt before and isn't about to trust any guy with her heart. She's also the president of a paint business. They have an employee from Russia that's kind of engineered the whole new line of paints they are going to be debuting. The only problem is that his visa is about to expire with no way to renew it. Julia's brother Jack decides that the perfect solution would be for Julia to marry Alek. But does Julia want to trust her heart to any one again? The second book is called Bride Wanted. I thought that the plot of this one was kind of fun. Chase is a man from Alaska, it gets pretty dark and lonely there, so he decides to advertise for a …

Trapped

One evening Emi is sleeping in her over-protective mom's condo, when she realizes that someone else is there with her. Her mom's in Greece on a cruise, so no one should be there but the cat and Emi. Emi's terrified, but manages to get herself out without getting caught by the robber. The craziness starts when the police allow her back in to have a look around and check to see what's missing. There doesn't seem to be anything missing, but things are moved around. There's a shrine of sorts to a baby Emi on a bed, and her love letters to her friend Daniel have been moved. But a very curious thing is that her mom's letters to her dead dad have been moved. There's also one she's never seen before dated a year after her father was supposed to have died. When she confronts her mom with this new letter, her mom confesses that her father is still alive and gets Emi a ticket to Austria to go find him. What she finds there is way beyond her wildest dreams. Her…

Deadly Little Games

I kind of had a mixed review on this book. On the one hand, I didn't realize that it was the newest book in the series, so I guess I had to cut it some slack! On the other hand, I wasn't thrilled with the language used in this book. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, so I did finish it, but I'm not so sure that it was worth it to me. Camelia is a junior in high school, apparently she was stalked by an ex-boyfriend not very long before the story opens, I'm guessing that this was a prior book. Her boyfriend Ben saved her from this stalker and saved her life several times, according to this book. Camelia and Ben both have some interesting abilities. Ben is able to touch people and basically know what's in their head, which turns out to be a problem when Camelia starts thinking about another boy that she dated, who happened to also be Ben's ex-best friend and who also was the person that Ben's ex-girlfriend cheated with. Are you confused yet? It gets…

Life and Death at Hoover Dam

I usually enjoy books written by Jerry Borrowman, they are usually historical fiction. I love that he writes about things that have happened and that he puts likable characters into situations that we've all heard of! I'd never really thought much about the construction of Hoover Dam, I've only even been to Nevada a couple of times and haven't even seen it, but looking at the historical photos included in this book, I'm amazed that they were able to build this dam in the 1930's. Now it would be a lot simpler, just because of the tools that we have now that they didn't have then. This book has a lot of characters. There's David and Pete Conway, David is one of the engineers and he's in charge of making sure that there's good air for the men in the tunnels they are digging to channel the Colorado River away from it's banks so that they can have a dry area to make the dam. Pete is a foreman in charge of the men who are going to go down the side…

Ramona Forever

Here's another Ramona book, this one was just plain red on the outside, so I took a shot of the inside. In this book Ramona is in the third-grade and she has to go to the Kemp's house after school, because there's no one at her house. Her father's been out of work for a while and her mother works at a doctor's office during the day. She doesn't enjoy going to the Kemp's. Howie's fine, but he always wants to go play and ride bikes with his friends, leaving Ramona with his pre-school sister, Willa Jean, and his grandmother Mrs. Kemp. Howie's rich Uncle Hobart is coming home from Saudi Arabia and Ramona realizes pretty soon after he gets there that Mrs. Kemp doesn't like to tend her and she doesn't even like her at all. Beezus and Ramona decide that they are old enough to stay home alone, just for a little while to try it out. But will they really be able to stand each other for those extra few hours after school?!This was a fun book to read w…

Anna and the French Kiss

This book was the favorite book of 2010 by the Best I've Read bloggers, and because it was written for kids in high school, I thought I would try it. The premise of the story is good, Anna is a senior in high school that's been ordered to attend a boarding school in Paris by her rich, absentee father. He and her mother take her there from her home in Atlanta and pretty much just leave her there. She doesn't know anyone and the school is pretty small. Luckily it's a school for American kids so most of them speak English. I thought that it would be very scary to be left in a foreign county by your parent's at just 17 years-old. She makes friends with the girl who lives in the dorm room next door and then she meets Etienne St. Clair a very handsome boy, who everyone seems to have a crush on. Pretty soon Anna has a crush on him too and he seems to like her. Unfortunately that was as far as I got. I enjoyed the story but I found the language to be very harsh, especi…

The Monument Mystery

I know, this shot is from a newspaper. Our local paper runs serialized stories every week, my oldest daughter and I are a little behind, this story ran in December, but we had a great time reading it within the last few weeks! This is the sequel to The Bear Lake Mystery that also ran as a serialized story last year. Jenny Allen is a normal girl, but she was kidnapped by the janitor from her school and also her bus driver in the winter. Now it's summer, schools out, but Jenny can't get the kidnapping out of her mind. No one ever found the janitor that kidnapped her, but there was another boy who was also kidnapped. Now he's disappeared, but Jenny feels that he's the key to her being able to move on. Jenny's family is headed to Colorado to spend some time with her aunt and uncle at their bed and breakfast, she hopes that somehow while they're staying with her aunt and uncle she'll be able to find some clue to who the boy was and where he's gone. This …

The Rogue Shop

Chris is a Texas boy, he's graduated from high school and decided to attend the school that's farthest away from where he's grown up and also offers him a scholarship. This happens to be the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, much to the chagrin of his aunt whose raised him since his own parents died in a car accident when he was three years old. Since his family's never been well off, Chris takes a Greyhound bus from Texas to Utah. On his way he decides that he needs to call his aunt to tell her that he's sorry that he's gone so far away. He calls from Denver and she makes him swear on the Bible that he will never become a Mormon, which he happily does, because why would he ever become a Mormon?? Life on his own is not quite what Chris imagined it would be. He loses $1400 dollars of money that he's saved up within the first 24 hours of being in Salt Lake and has to scramble to come up with a job so that he can rent an apartment. He tries s…

Great Expectations

I can't really say that this was a fun book, but it was an interesting read. I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, so I thought I would read Great Expectations also. It's about Pip, he's a young boy, his name is actually Philip Pirrip, but he goes by Pip. His parents are both dead and he lives with his older sister and her husband Joe. One day he's at the cemetery looking at his parent's headstones when he is approached by an escaped convict, who quickly becomes "his" convict. This hard man asks Pip to bring him food and a file from his brother-in-laws tools. His brother-in-law, Joe, is a blacksmith. The convict also asks for food. Pip's sister is not kind to him, so he is terrified to steal food from her kitchen, but the convict tells Pip convincingly that he will kill him if he doesn't return that evening with the food and the file, so he does what he's asked, all the time scared that he's going to get caught and beaten by his sister. The …

The Counterfeit Convert

Tristan is an unemployed advertising executive, he lives in New York with his two best friends, Cole and Austin. They are all kind of down on their luck, but Tristan decides that they need a nice dinner to help them feel better and he's more than willing to put it on his credit card. At the restaurant, he literally runs into Rachel McMillan, she's not very nice to him because she can tell that he's kind of a womanizer, but a waiter tells him her name and her situation. Her father was a wealthy businessman who left things to his three daughters in his will, but there is a stipulation. His daughter's must be married by the time they turn 25 or else they don't get even one penny of money. Tristan sees Rachel as his way to get out of poverty, he decides then and there that he is going to be the one to marry her. The only problem is that she and her sisters are Mormons and he, Austin and Cole don't know anything at all about Mormons. Tristan tells her that he …

Meg's Melody

I have been waiting to read this book for about a month now, so I was so excited when I saw it on the library's website and was able to get it so quickly! It was worth the wait! Meg and her husband, Austin, have a normal marriage, they have their issues and Austin travels for work a lot, so Meg's not surprised to come home from teaching choir and band to find that he's not there one day. She is surprised when she looks in their closet and only finds empty hangers on his side. She's doubly surprised when she finally is able to reach him on the phone and he tells her that she'll be getting divorce papers soon. As her world spirals out of control, Meg stops eating and starts feeling sick all the time. She figures that it's just the stress of everything that's been happening in her life, until she realizes that she's missed her period. She has to know, so she gets a home test and it confirms that she's pregnant. She tries to reach Austin to let hi…

Taking Chances

I had to re-read this book after re-reading Makeover! I have really loved the characters in these books, they just seem so real and so likable. Maggie is a painter living in Saint George when she discovers that a great grandmother she's never met has left her a home in Alpine. She hasn't had any great inspiration for her paintings lately, so she decides to move to Alpine for a while to check out the house and see if inspiration will find her. Within a few minutes of moving to her new home, she's broken her favorite easel, met her new neighbor Luke, and discovered that her paternal grandparents have broken into her home and made her a lovely dinner. She thinks that Luke is just a cranky banker that she'll never get to know, but she also thinks that he's cute and pretty soon she discovers that she'd really like to get to know him. She's not really sure about either her maternal grandmother or her paternal grandparents who both happen to live within a mile …

Henry Huggins

This is another one that I read with our 5 year old, and our 10 year old is wanting to read it too! Beverly Cleary's characters are timeless, and I never tire of reading their adventures! Henry is in the 3rd grade and he rides the bus by himself around town, he has a lot of adventures, but he also gets himself into a lot of trouble. He finds a dog running around that doesn't have a collar and doesn't appear to have an owner, so he gives it a name, Ribsy, and a home with him. But first, he has to get Ribsy back to Klickitat Street, on the bus. None of the bus drivers will let Ribsy on the bus, the first one says that dogs have to be in boxes, so he finds a box big enough for Ribsy, the next bus driver won't let Henry and Ribsy on the bus at all, so Henry waits for the first bus driver to come back. But he has a small problem, Ribsy doesn't want to stay in the box! Pretty soon, he's escaped the box and is busy terrorizing the other riders of the bus. Henry is …

A Tale of Two Cities

I did it! It only took me six days, but I actually read all 374 of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities! This book starts out with a stranger going in search of what appears to be a dead man. He meets the man's daughter and they go across the canal from England to France, there they find the man. He's been a prisoner in the Bastille for 18 years, the whole time his daughter's been alive, and he's kind of lost his mind a little bit. All he wants to do is make shoes, but his daughter is able to charm him out of that and soon, he'll do anything she asks of him, including testify at a trial of someone accused of treason against England. This book was written at a trying time. It's during the time of the French revolution. The French were afraid of everything at this time, including anyone who ever had any money or who ever had seemed to have any money. They begin to kill everyone that they are afraid of and that's just scary, it was during this time th…

My Week

I really don't have a good excuse for not having written this week. It was kind of a crazy busy week, but also a very sad week for us. You see, my husbands awesome 88 year old grandmother died on Monday. We were able to go and visit her in the nursing home not two weeks ago, she hugged us, kissed us on both cheeks and extracted a promise that we visit her as soon as we could. Within six days the nursing home people said that she was on her way out. We chose not to let our 10 year-old and 5 year-old see her like that, at the very end of her life and not really making complete sense, because they had just seen her very much alive and well and we wanted them to remember her that way. Within 8 days of visiting her she was gone. Within a week and a half we've had her funeral and she's been buried. I feel that I've learned a lot this week, between teaching our kids what we believe happens to our body and our spirits afterwards, the very awesome funeral home's expl…